Think Before You Drink

DrunkAlcohol can influence a teen’s decision to have sex. Family and personal values play key roles, but unfortunately, so does underage drinking. Approximately 12.5 million teens drink each year, and according to the Federal Trade Commission, teens who drink are twice as likely to engage in some kind of sexual activity. When you drink, alcohol “takes over your personality” by impairing your thoughts and slowing down your reaction time, making it difficult to think clearly and make good decisions. Being “under the influence” affects your judgment, which can make you more likely to become involved in risky sexual behaviors.

Have you ever observed someone who’s been drinking? You’ll probably notice that their behavior changes. For example, they might do risky things that they would never think of doing when they’re sober. That’s because alcohol affects every organ in the body – including the brain. Drinking affects a person’s ability to make good decisions, which can lead to someone consenting to have sex when they’re not ready, or engaging in sexual activity with a stranger, or with multiple partners. When teens drink, they’re less likely to use protection, and that means a higher risk of getting an STD and/or becoming pregnant. There are many reasons not to drink alcohol before you turn 21. The best solution is to not drink, and to be the person who steps in to protect friends when alcohol puts them in an unsafe situation.